We interviewed Éva Somogyiné Dr Komlósi, Assistant Professor, to tell us about her new role as the head of the MSc Business Development (BD) major (at the University of Pécs Faculty of Business & Economics)
The Master in Economist in Business Development program is very recursive in terms of knowledge transmitted to students, in terms of methodology that is hard for the students. Still, at the same time, it is a lot of fun. It is fun because students get a vast space to create what they want and feel. They get the opportunity to envision projects or build on the knowledge they gather during the program. At the same time, they are enabled to focus on social issues and business opportunities that they think are important in everyday life and from a local and global perspective. So, students have room to reach their personal goals but simultaneously go through the process of learning within free working on the program.
We recommend this program to those who love to create and want to experience the creation of something out of nothing on a master level. This program is for those interested in the area of entrepreneurship or ecosystems, either within or outside the organization, and those interested in innovation. I recommend this program to those who think that the global business and social arena are changing so fast that they must do something to jump on this wagon.
And now the BD got its new programme leader, in the person of Éva Somogyiné dr. Komlósi, who is an Assistant Professor of the UPFBE.
We asked Professor Komlósi some questions to introduce her to the public.
Would you please tell us details about yourself, your previous responsibilities and your research areas?
I hold a PhD in Economics from the University of Pécs (2014). In my dissertation, I investigated various issues related to contemporary regional development policy in Japan. In 2010, I won a two-year Japanese state-financed scholarship to research in Japan. Between 2012 and 2022, I had a position in the MTA-PTE Innovation and Economic Growth Research Group at the University of Pécs as a research fellow. I have a severe attitude toward research, and if I have to position myself, I primarily define myself as a researcher. During the last ten years, I have participated in several EU-financed research projects, which mainly focused on understanding the entrepreneurial ecosystem and regional entrepreneurship. My current main area of research is investigating the effects of factors on the entrepreneurship ecosystem and entrepreneurship policy at the local and regional levels.
You were recently appointed to be the head of the MSc BD programme. What are your short-term plans with the programme?
This program is excellent in its current form. The most critical cornerstones and directions are well-defined. It prepares students for key aspects of related fields through a comprehensive curriculum. At the same time, our world has sped up. Everything changes quickly; new knowledge, techniques and solutions are born almost daily. Getting students up to speed with the latest techniques and innovations and developing the competencies required to address and enhance new needs in different areas is the endeavour I want to support and facilitate as much as possible.
Could you please tell us about the MSc BD major in a nutshell?
In addition to a high level of theoretical and methodological knowledge of business development, students of the Business Development program can develop master’s level business knowledge and consciously build leadership skills. Self-employment or extensive leadership roles in national and international business life are possible for graduates, whether they work in large corporations, multinationals, or small and medium-sized companies. The program gives students much freedom to create what they want and feel. They can plan projects or build on the knowledge they have acquired during the program. Still, at the same time, they can focus on social issues and business opportunities they feel are essential in their daily lives, both locally and globally. Students, therefore, have the chance to achieve their personal goals and simultaneously go through the process of learning within free working on the program.
Who would you recommend this program and why?
I recommend this program to those who love to create and want to experience creating something out of nothing on a master level. The program is for those interested in entrepreneurship or ecosystems, either within or outside the organization, and those interested in innovation. I recommend this program to those who think the global business and social spheres are changing so fast that they must do something to jump on this wagon. I also recommend it to those who want to become capable of managing projects or performing business development tasks at a state or market organizations, venture capital companies or financial institutions. I also suggest that for students who intend to continue their studies within the framework of our doctoral training.
What is your favourite subject of the ones you teach and why?
I teach Regional Economics and Development in the Business Development program. Through this course, students gain insights into the significant role of spatial processes in economics. We discuss a range of topics related to location theory, e.g. how transportation costs affect firms’ location decisions and strategic decisions based on the location of competitors. In addition to identifying market areas, students also examine agglomeration economies and the clustering of economic activities. Most of the course is devoted to regional growth and development theories. I like this course as it is crucial to articulate the value of space and highlight the most critical factors behind the decision-making of firm location.
What is your kindest memory of yours as a teacher?
So far, I have taught the BD program for two spring semesters. Therefore, there were few opportunities to generate memories yet. My memory is related to the publication success of one of my PhD students, who is completing a PhD program at our faculty. This memory is still significant to me despite not being directly related to the BD program. While there is a connection since the undisclosed goal of the BD program is to provide master’s students with the knowledge that will allow them to continue their studies within the doctoral program. My PhD student investigates the difference between rural and urban entrepreneurial ecosystems by applying a novel research method. She was my first PhD student, and when she mentioned that her article was accepted in a Q1 journal last year, I was overjoyed; I wouldn’t have been so happy if a journal had taken my work.
How practice-oriented is your programme?
This program is practice-oriented. Due to projects and real-life experiences, our practice-oriented approach helps students to acquire the necessary professional skills and competencies, gain experience in business development, learn the system of theoretical knowledge, work in a team and take responsibility for the decisions made. We heavily employ experiential learning. Students who enter this program should not expect the work and assessment to be conducted in an old fashion way where you should just read and study books and then participate in closed-book exams. We emphasize critical thinking development. Before you enter any master program, you should research how to learn and how to learn the most effectively. Then you will discover that learning efficiency has different levels; to master it, you must practice it and apply it. We do believe in this theme as well. But it doesn’t mean our students do not enter PhD level programs; they do. But they can go to PhD level problems with the experience of real-life issues and real-life projects.
What are the most important benefits of studying MSc BD apart from the degree?
Students learn to systematically develop and apply entrepreneurial thinking, emphasizing conceptualization, planning, and starting a business. The most important benefit is that students can delve deeper into the mechanics of starting a new business venture and elevate their soft skills and personal traits necessary for entrepreneurship. The lecturers here are dedicated to giving students all the guidance, skillsets, and opportunities they need to transform ideas into viable businesses.
What are the essential skills this major offers to someone to be able to start their start-up?
Entrepreneur leadership skill is necessary. Since students work in teams very often, leadership skills are being developed by being able to work and co-create with others. And also, creativity! Any skill associated with creativity is highly developed. Students also learn how to coop with risk more than other students from other programs. When you step out of your comfort zone, what an entrepreneur needs to do, you must coop with the further risk factors and get used to them. Entrepreneurs are flying in the dark when they develop something. That tells a lot about handling problems. Furthermore, speaking is a great skill that you can gain. Communication is essential in this field. You have to sell yourself and your project! These are the most critical skill sets and possible takeaways for students.